Are you going back to school for your Master's degree? Click here!

Employers in top industries often require prospective employees to have at least a master’s degree in a specific field before they’ll hire them.  This represents a change over previous generations when a high school diploma alone could get you a decent job.  Because you went to college and got a bachelor’s degree, you’re already on the road to academic success when it comes to applying for jobs that require you to have a graduate degree.  However, if it’s been several years since you attended a postsecondary school, you’ve probably gotten into the habit of filling up your days doing anything except studying.  You like the groove you’ve gotten into, but you want that job, that promotion or that salary increase that requires a graduate degree.

Returning to college or university after being out of school for four or more years can help you reach these goals.  However, doing so presents its own set of challenges, in part, because your life has changed since you last went to school.  For example, you might have married and had children.  You might also have a house to maintain and aging parents to care for.  Finding free time to exercise, go fishing or hang out with your friends for a few hours seems daunting enough.  But by focusing on the rewards associated with going for your master’s degree at an accredited college or university you can inspire and motivate yourself to continue to excel academically. 

Taking an Easier Route to Your Master’s Degree

Specific steps you can take to achieve this are:

  • Enroll in an accredited college or university where the cost of tuition fits your personal budget.  After all, you’re likely striving to grow your retirement accounts at the same time you strengthen your education and give yourself greater opportunities to excel in your career.  No need to get bogged down with hefty student loans and other tuition expenses.
  • Look and apply for scholarships, grants, fellowships, etc. so you get a portion or all of your tuition paid for up front.
  • Register for weekend classes if you carry a full load with work, family and community events and responsibilities during the week.
  • Enroll in online classes so you can eliminate the need to commute to and from school after putting in a full day at the office.
  • Use your personal days at work to study for mid-terms and finals.  Your supervisor or manager knows you have a family to support.  She or he probably respects the fact that you’re advancing your education and will therefore understand time constraints you might face as you pursue your Master’s degree.
  • Join one or more social organizations at the postsecondary school you attend to get more engaged with your classmates and campus life.
  • Read the next one to two chapters of your school textbooks a week or more in advance, allowing the material to become familiar to you.  When your professors cover the material in class you’ll absorb the information more thoroughly, helping yourself earn higher test scores.
  • Schedule your online or offline classes on one to two days of the week, giving yourself more free time to study and focus on your family and work.
  • Register for one or more college courses with a colleague from work.  You can exchange notes and become each other’s study partner.

Pace yourself.  It’s been several years since you attended college or university.  Your responsibilities and personal life have changed.  You’ve achieved a lot of goals you set out to fulfill when you first attended college after high school.  Focus on the reasons you’ve decided to return to school to get a Master’s degree.  Make sure the courses you take keep you moving toward fulfilling these goals, and hey!  Have fun!

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